Take a drive down a main stretch in Flint and you'll probably find a party store. In the city, they've become a topic of controversy and some argue the source of crime.
"If you just notice the crime rate in our area, it's terrible, and I think a lot of it is contributed to liquor stores," said former Flint resident Bobbie Payne.
"It's ok, as long as you're responsible," said Deloris Hampton, a Flint resident who doesn't have a problem with the number of stores in the city.
It's not so much the fact the stores are selling liquor, it's because the parking lots of some of the stores have become social hangouts. Hangouts that some residents believe are the hotbed of bad behavior.
"It's no good place to be," said Payne.
"A lot of people get to hanging around the stores, the loitering and stuff like that, that's when it becomes a problem right there," said Hampton.
And in an attempt to save our streets, a citizen's group is stepping in.
"Some of the biggest complaints are the selling of single cigarettes, the loitering outside, the selling of drugs outside, makes it very difficult to stop in and buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk, they'll drive two or three miles to a place where they feel safe," said Craig Wolcott.
Wolcott is the president of Flint Neighborhoods United, a group consisting of 38 different neighborhood associations, block clubs and neighborhood watches. With the backing of city officials, the state's liquor control commission, and other residents, he wants to see a crack-down on how liquor stores operate.
"Basically we're just trying to get things cleared up with the party stores, get it to where people can actually go in and shop," said Wolcott.
On Monday, Nov. 4, Flint Neighborhoods United is having a meeting with residents asking for their concerns and ideas. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission and other agencies will also be there to talk about the problem. Residents are invited and it starts at 5:30 p.m. at Mott Community College's Event Center.
On Nov. 11, the same type of meeting will be held with party store owners in the city of Flint.
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